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Hardest part is missing you

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Jet Star’s standing in the middle of the empty fucking desert, nothing around for miles but the sand dunes and the payphone. So, ey picks up the phone. It’s clearly a sign from the Witch, right? Too bad ey doesn’t know who to call. Nobody’s had a phone number since before ey was born, not since BLI replaced them. Jet leans against the booth, tracing a finger along the receiver, punching in random numbers just to hear the noise the buttons make. It’s a nice noise, and Jet gets lost in thought, making patterns with the shapes engraved on them. (Ey never did learn eir numbers.)

“Hello?” Jet drops the phone in surprise, and the caller’s next words are lost as the phone bashes against the bottom of the booth, swinging back and forth on its cord a few times before Jet can grab it again, pressing the receiver to eir ear.

“Yeah? What?” How do you respond to a random caller at a mystic fucking phonebooth in the sand?

Star? Is that you?” And fuck, not only do ey recognize the voice, but it’s Mad Gear on the other end, just as confused as em.

“I think so? I mean, yeah, it’s me. How’re you fucking doing this?”

“Doing what?” There’s voices, indistinct, on the other end, and Mad Gear covers the phone to reply for a moment, before returning to Jet. “I thought it was you calling me? How’d you know the number for this place, anyways? How’d you know we’d be here?”

Jet shrugs, realizes she can’t hear em. “It can’t have been me calling, I’m at a payphone, and I didn’t pay—“ ey looks at the coin slot, and realizes it’s been jammed with ages-old chewed up gum. “I didn’t even realize there was a phone out here.”

“Nevermind that, I guess.” Mad’s never had much patience for mysteries. “How’re ya doin’, Star?”

“I’m good. Better now, I’m talking to you.” Mad Gear laughs, and Jet’s heart fucking melts. “I missed you. How’s touring?”

“Fuckin’ splendid!” Mad Gear launches into a story involving a bet gone wrong, her opening act’s backup singer, and an irradiated gila monster as Jet laughs along, lost in the sound of eir girlfriend’s voice.

“I heard the new EP,” Jet adds, later once Mad’s story’s been resolved, bet lost, singer (mostly) safe, and gila monster sent on its way with some complimentary merch and a few centipedes for the road.

“Oh? What’d’ya think?” Beneath her enthusiasm, Mad Gear’s voice carries a hint of worry.

“I loved them, so much. Made me miss you even more, though, the sound of your voice.” Jet realizes ey’s crying silently, longing to see eir datemate after so long apart.

“I know the feeling. Saw one’a your wanted posters up in Zone One, andI started missing you all over agai— that’s a nice lyric, actually.” Jet hears Mad Gear pick up a pen, scribble something down before she continues. “You know, Mis’ would have a field day, makin’ fun of us all lovesick.”

“Oh, they would.” Jet smiles a bit, settling down in the sand by the phonebooth. “Probably still are making fun of us, wherever they are.”

“I hope so.” Mad Gear abruptly changes course, never one to longer on the sad bits. “Hey, we’ll be staying out in Zone Six for a while, I’d love to see ya if you get the chance to come by, hm?”

“I’d love nothin’ more.” Jet grins, about to keep talking, when the phone cuts off with a click, leaving Jet Star alone again in the desert. “I love you, Mad Gear,” ey says, hoping she’ll hear it. And even though the phone’s lifeless once again, she does.